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Fitness Junkie: A Novel Hardcover – July 11, 2017
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"A hilarious tale about one woman's attempt to do whatever it takes -- juicing, clay diets, private island wellness retreats -- to lose 30 lbs."
"There are no funnier, wittier people in all the land than Lucy Sykes and Jo Piazza. The writers of The Knockoff are here with their second novel about one woman’s attempt to basically fix her entire life, which she is positive will happen by losing 30 pounds. Think naked yoga. Think gross green juices. Think crazy cycling classes. Yes, please!"
—Ruthie Friedlander, InStyle
"You’ll breeze through this one like you would a Saturday spin class with the most fabulous playlist and the promise of brunch cocktails after."
"The Devil Wears Prada of the wellness world... It’s about time the New York City fitness scene—booming in 2017 like never before—got its roman à clef."
"When Janey Sweet … navigates topless yoga and ruthless cycling classes in Lucy Sykes and Jo Piazza's satire, she realizes she’s better off without the green juice."
"Takes aim squarely at the way in which our weight- and fitness-obsessed culture infiltrates our daily lives... Fitness Junkie will make you laugh as much as it will make you think."
—Shanee Edwards, SheKnows
"I laughed out loud reading Fitness Junkie, which serves a heaping helping of hilarious satire, profiling the step-counting, calorie-obsessed New Yorkers who fill the cronut-shaped holes in their souls with workouts."
—Jill Kargman, creator and star of Odd Mom Out
"Fitness Junkie is a deliciously fun romp through the bizarre and cult-like workouts of the superrich, from naked yoga to clay diets to private island wellness retreats. Funny, frothy and delicious."
—Jane Green, author of Falling
"I was thrown into the diet and exercising regimen of the 0.01% and was barely able to exhale. Fitness Junkie moves furiously through the torturous extremes women subject themselves to, all in the name of pleasing someone else. Sykes and Piazza work their magic through the eyes of a woman more like yourself. Read this and you will never eat cronuts with a side of guilt again."
—Maureen Sherry, author of Opening Belle
About the Author
LUCY SYKES has worked in the fashion industry consulting for top designers Tommy Hilfiger and Ralph Lauren as a spokesperson for TJMaxx becoming the The First Maxxinista on a nationwide commercial. Lucy worked as on staff fashion editor at Town and Country and Allure magazine. For six years Lucy was the fashion director at Marie Claire magazine, and was most recently fashion director for Rent the Runway. She has appeared on fashion segments for Good Morning America and The Today Show. Her own children's clothing line, Lucy Sykes New York, was sold in more than a hundred department stores worldwide, including Saks Fifth Avenue, Barneys, Bergdorf Goodman, and Nordstrom. Together with her twin sister Plum, Lucy moved from London to New York City in 1996, where she now lives with her husband and two sons.
JO PIAZZA is an award-winning reporter and editor who has written for the Wall Street Journal, The New York Times, the New York Daily News, New York Magazine, Glamour, Marie Claire, Elle and Salon. She has appeared on CNN, NPR, Fox News, the BBC and MSNBC. She received a master’s degree in Journalism from Columbia, a master’s degree in Religious Studies from NYU, and a bachelor’s degree in Economics from the University of Pennsylvania. She is also the author of the critically acclaimed If Nuns Ruled the World, Celebrity Inc: How Famous People Make Money, and How to Be Married: What I Learned from Real Women on Five Continents About Surviving My First (Really Hard) Year of Marriage. She currently lives in San Francisco with her husband and their giant dog.
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It all started with a bruffin. (That's a hybrid of a brioche and a muffin, and frankly sounds delicious to me.) Janey Sweet was photographed rating that delectable treat in the front row of a fashion show. The picture isn't even bad, but her business partner is fuming as if it's a personal affront. Janey has gained some weight recently, and Beau isn't having it. They've been friends since they were children, but that someone doesn't stop him from lambasting her about her "weight problem". As the primary owner of their extremely successful wedding dress company, he gives her an ultimatum: lose thirty pounds in three months or you're out. He gives her time off to do it. As illegal as that sounds, turns out there's actually a clause in their initial contract which supposedly makes it okay.
Janey has recently divorced her husband, but she didn't experience real heartbreak. This is her heartbreak... her best friend, the person she seems to consider her soul mate, basically abandoning her. She's beyond hurt. Beyond dismayed. Beyond ashamed.
This is how if begins... a crazy funny journey of diets and workouts that seem to have come from another planet. (They might as well, for most of us, with what they cost.) They're incredibly ridiculous. This book made me laugh a lot, but about 70% in I started to get a little weary of all the diet and workout talk which kept it from getting a higher rating from me. Though it's not a long book at all, I may have enjoyed it a little more if it had been shorter. There's some romance thrown in there, but no sex. (We know it happens, but no descriptions.) There's also some incredibly strong friendships among some amazing ladies, which helps make up for the toxic Beau.
All in all, an enjoyable story. If you're a fan of women's fiction and humor and you're sick of the crazy health fads flying around or may have even participated in some yourself but have a sense of humor, you might enjoy it. I've never been a health fad kind of gal myself, except for the one where red wine is supposed to be good for you. I like that one.
I received an ARC of this book from Net Galley and Doubleday Books, thank you! My review is honest and unbiased.
The fun—or should we say the hardship—begins early on when gay bestie and longtime business partner of a couture wedding dress company urges 40 year-old Janey to take a leave of absence to slim down about 30 pounds (bad for business, he claims). Since the weight issue has been contracted (!) when they were in their ‘20s Janey realizes she has no choice. So in come a slew of fitness gimmicks that eventually do more harm than good. Aided by a college chum who’s just as obsessed with health and fitness as she is and a spin-instructor of a niece who has a mouth like a sailor, Janey will stop at nothing to regain her rightful place as CEO.
First and foremost let me say that the recipe for riveting reads is to always showcase a knockout of a protagonist, and in this novel, Janey is her. She is sympathetic, smart, resilient, kind, funny but most importantly relatable. Women of all sizes will see themselves in her. If not so much, then at least her crazy encounters with the human kind will make them grin from ear to ear and sometimes warm their heart. Because FITNESS JUNKIE is not always all fun and games (which are aplenty, trust me). There are also moments of sensitivity such as the scene where the heroine clearly sees that she’s no longer considered a muse in the eyes of her business partner or the one involving a group therapy session which almost moved me to tears with its message of hope after despair. I say almost, because I’m a mean S.O.B.
The real star of this novel, however, is the over-the-top fitness regimes that just can’t be real (according to the writers some are). From drinking clay to attending a Free the Nipple Yoga session, not to mention getting high on cactus juice, all are nuttier than the next. But the most important thing in FITNESS JUNKIE, besides giving the heroine not one but two male counterparts to coddle with, is the strong and effective narrative. Like last year’s THE KNOCKOFF the story breezes by like a summer wind and before you know it the end is near and your only wish is to go back in time and enjoy it all over again. Can’t wait to see what’s next in the horizon from these dynamic authors.
Thanks to the publisher and NetGalley for the chance to read this novel in exchange for an honest review.